Vassar Clements, Tony Rice – Kissimmee Kid

Here’s the all star lineup of musicians on this video:

Vassar Clements – fiddle
Tony Rice – guitar
Mark O’Connor – mandolin
Jerry Douglas – dobro
John Hartford – banjo
Glenn Worf – bass

Kissimmee Kid…. the author of this piece is Vassar Clements and Kissimmee is where Vassar grew up in Florida. I think by now everybody knows the town cause of Walt Disney and all the theme parks.

This video looks like it was filmed a little before I became a member of Vassar’s band. I can tell just by looking at Vassar’s age..

As the story goes, I joined his band and moved to Nashville after I did a recording session with him and David Grisman. I ended up moving right across the street from Vassar and from that time on, we spent nearly every day together.

Oh, you would think that it was all music but no, that was not the case. His wife Millie used to give him a written list of things to do every day and, he would knock on my door about 11am or so and take me in the car with him. I ended up calling this task “Vassin” and he cracked up when I would say things like “What time are we going Vassin’ tomorrow,” or ” that was some mighty fine Vassin’ we did today.” And the cool thing about it was, you never knew what was on the list. For example, one day we went over to Bill Monroe’s house, just to talk with him a while. Bill wasn’t feeling too good at the time so we headed over there. Vassar was very neat and always dressed very well but… Bill lived on a farm and, well, the mud that got on Vassar’s car and on his pants made him almost want to turn around and leave. He was so upset about it!

Those were amazing years, the touring, the hanging and the Vassin’ we did. I have of course a million other stories and I’ll tell more on this site for sure.

After I moved to New Jersey, Vassar called me everyday until he got sick with cancer. For those of you that knew Vassar, it was about as sad of a time as there ever was.

Just want to say something about this song.. If you notice, the chord changes the band is playing here are not the same as the Old And In The Way recording.
Why is that? Well, when I played this song for the first time with Vassar, I of course knew the song from the original.. he told me.. “Those are the wrong chords.”  So imagine one of your songs gets popular and the version everyone hears has the “wrong chords.”  This band is still missing some of the little changes as this song really is intended to be more of a swing style piece than an bluegrass song. Bet you didn’t know that…

Finally, I just want to thank each and every one of you for visiting Acoustic Guitar Videos. This has been a blast doing this site, and I’ve met so many great people from doing it.

all the best to you!   bob harris


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